John Harris

Journalist & Author

Archive for September, 2017

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Life’s complex enough. I fear your next iPhone will make things worse | John Harris

Friday, September 15th, 2017

The iPhone X is a thing of beauty, but I wonder about its true value. We’re putting ourselves at the mercy of systems we barely understand

It was just before 10am, Pacific time, on Tuesday, and as the crowd gathered at the new Steve Jobs Theatre in California for the launch of Apple’s latest products-cum-miracles, they were serenaded with the Beatles’ All You Need Is Love. It had been chosen, presumably, as a signifier of the boomer supremacism still built into Apple’s culture, the company’s boundless ambition – John Lennon’s first line, let’s not forget, is “There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done” – and its senior management’s apparent belief that making billions of dollars is a serendipitous byproduct of the company’s mixture of philanthropy and art.

Related: iPhone X: even an embarrassing launch glitch can’t knock Apple off the top

Today’s great leap forward can easily become tomorrow’s yawn

Related: Facial recognition is here. The iPhone X is just the beginning | Clare Garvie

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Posted in Guardian RSS | No Comments »

Life’s complex enough. I fear your next iPhone will make things worse | John Harris

Friday, September 15th, 2017

The iPhone X is a thing of beauty, but I wonder about its true value. We’re putting ourselves at the mercy of systems we barely understand

It was just before 10am, Pacific time, on Tuesday, and as the crowd gathered at the new Steve Jobs Theatre in California for the launch of Apple’s latest products-cum-miracles, they were serenaded with the Beatles’ All You Need Is Love. It had been chosen, presumably, as a signifier of the boomer supremacism still built into Apple’s culture, the company’s boundless ambition – John Lennon’s first line, let’s not forget, is “There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done” – and its senior management’s apparent belief that making billions of dollars is a serendipitous byproduct of the company’s mixture of philanthropy and art.

Related: iPhone X: even an embarrassing launch glitch can’t knock Apple off the top

Today’s great leap forward can easily become tomorrow’s yawn

Related: Facial recognition is here. The iPhone X is just the beginning | Clare Garvie

Continue reading…

Posted in Guardian RSS | No Comments »

These Europeans came to live a British dream. Is it all over? | John Harris

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Hard-working and self-reliant, they moved to the UK to get ahead. But tough talk on immigration makes many fear for the future

On the southern edge of Peterborough is a new residential development called Cardea – a huge expanse of housing served by a solitary Morrisons supermarket and a self-styled “clean, modern pub” called the Apple Cart – which has become a byword for the more affluent elements of the city’s Polish population.

On roads called Jupiter Avenue, Hercules Way and Neptune Close, newly built homes extend into the distance. A three-bedroom detached will give you change out of £250,000, and put you in close proximity to the expanse of warehouses, distribution centres and retail outlets which power a big part of the local economy. The openings such places offer tend to fall one of two ways: management positions and tech roles for people who have either worked their way up or arrived with the right qualifications; or, at what the modern vernacular calls entry level, more uncertain roles for people who are prepared to put in the graft, and who often shoulder the burden of mind-bending shift patterns and low wages.

Related: 80% of Britain’s 1.4m eastern European residents are in work

Poles, Latvians, Lithuanians, Bulgarians and Romanians have fed a job market in which few British people are interested

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SEN assessment: one of the Cameron era’s most howling disasters | John Harris

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

Changes to England’s special educational needs system have led to an absurdly complex regime full of trapdoors
• ‘People give up’: the crisis

It was March 2011 when the coalition government announced proposals to reform England’s special educational needs (SEN) system. Some of the initial noise around their plans was grim: government sources said as many as 450,000 children could be taken out of the category of special needs altogether, while the dependably sensitive Mail Online ran such headlines as “Schools on a scam and an excuse for lazy teaching”. At the same time, ministers made contrasting pledges, many of which I heard first-hand – not least the promises to make things “stronger and simpler” for parents and children.

Related: Schools battle to support special needs as teaching assistants lose jobs

Related: Parents pushing for special needs diagnosis for children, survey says

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